McDonald Progressing, Steen Experiencing Symptoms of a Concussion
One step forward, one step back. That's how it has gone for the St. Louis Blues the past couple months in terms of injuries. Fresh off the news that defenseman Kris Russell will miss at least three weeks with a groin injury, the team announced Alex Steen is experiencing "concussion like" symptoms. It's safe to say the team will be cautious with Steen given the nature of concussions, meaning he will miss at least a game or two, potentially more. On a bright note, Andy McDonald is slowly progressing and has returned to practice wearing a red no-contact sweater. The injury news regarding Kris Russell bothered me. The news regarding Alex Steen troubles me. With Russell, while his absence is a tough blow, the Blues have another solid option in Ian Cole. Unfortunately, with Steen there really is no one that can slide in to fill the void he now leaves. Back in October of 2011, I wrote a length piece on Alex Steen over at The Hockey Writers (seen here) that details what exactly Steen means to the Blues and the skill he brings to the club that often doesn't appear in any game recaps. Prior to Ken Hitchcock stepping behind the bench, Steen was one of only a handful of Blues that continually turned in a solid effort on the ice. While other players took shifts off, Steen constantly was giving his all, harassing the opposition and using his speed and work ethic to propel the Blues forward. It's too early to give any sort of diagnosis on Steen, but we can hope that his concussion, or symptoms from a concussion, are of the minor variety. Based on the statements from various reporters around the team I feel if the situation was more severe, we would know. Andy McDonald continues rehabbing from a concussion and has no joined the team for practices, sporting a red no-contact jersey. It's nice to see McDonald back on the ice with his teammates but his official return to action is still a ways off. McDonald admitted he is not free of his symptoms and currently rates himself at 90-95 percent, as reported by StlToday.com. McDonald comments that he still feels some symptoms after practice as well as occasionally around the house. Still, the fact remains that he has been improving and with a little luck and continued progress, still should see McDonald take the ice for the Blues in 2011-12.